Ecotourist Destination Operator
An ecotourist destination operator operates in the tourist/service industry.
The ecotourist operator attempts to provide his or her guests with the most
enjoyable environmental experience possible by facilitating his or her
guest’s interactions with the host environment. There is no proscribed
career path for this occupation but an enthusiasm for people and the
outdoors are important in this field.
Job Title Eco-tourist Destination Operator
PhD Masters Bachelors Associate School Other
Not required, necessary, necessary,
Education Advantage Advantage but highly generally generally
Negligible Negligible recommended insufficient insufficient N/A
International Regional States Density Employers Schools
Location the globe
Yes Yes Rural Private
Range Hours Benefits Atmosphere
Working Difficult to 70 to 80+ Commonly The majority of the working day is
Conditions accurately hours per purchased spent outdoors. Particularly during day
report week independently light.
Marketable Communication skills and ecological intelligence are highly valued
Responsibilities Operating the eco-tourism business and keeping guests satisfied
A Day in the Life…
Ecotourism is a broad definition of a profession that involves traveling to
pristine, fragile and often protected natural areas. The purpose is often to
educate visitors and expose them to natural settings and wildlife.
Ecotourism sites cater to individuals who consider themselves ecologically
and or socially conscious. It typically offers the opportunity for interactions
with seldom seen flora and fauna. Many Eco-tourist operations funnel
revenue back to the ecological communities in which they operate in an
effort to improve and sustain them.
Operating an Ecotourism business is very demanding. Operation requires
long hours; often from sun up to sun down. In many cases there are
domestic and outdoor chores that must be tended to. If the operation is not
large enough, or does not have a large enough revenue stream, it may be
difficult to hire employees to handle some of the day to day chores. This
makes operation more difficult for the proprietor.
On a daily basis, someone working in ecotourism will be in contact with
visitors or guests. Being personable and pleasant with people, even under
frustrating circumstances is desirable.
Projected Career Outlook
It is difficult to give an accurate outlook on the future of this industry
statistically. Statistics for the number of people who visit Eco-tourist
destinations are not distinguished from general travel statistics.
Those with an interest in operating an eco-tourism venue must be clear
about their vision. Most Eco-tourist destinations are independently operated
and are on a modest scale. Usually the operators have intimate and
uncommon knowledge of the land/water/wetland etc. that positions them as
an expert. More often than not, they own the tourist area directly or may
have access as similar to the general public, but employ extraordinary skill
and equipment which may be too expensive for a casually interested
person to purchase on their own. Considering this, most eco-tourist
facilitators do not set a specific career trajectory for themselves , rather
through various circumstances they discover that the combination of their
skill, knowledge, opportunities and the public interest come together to
create a viable business endeavor.
Education and Preparation
The path to becoming an eco-tourism operator is non-linear. That is to say
there is not a specific collegiate major that is necessary to gain entrance to
the field. However, it is common for individuals who translate their interest
in the wildlife or the environment to have a biological, botanical or
ecological back ground. This is not required, as valuable skills and
knowledge may be acquired through experience.
Communication and people skills are valuable in the Eco-tourism field.
Providing a satisfying experience to visitors is the primary focus of a
successful eco-tourist operation. To that end it is imperative that facilitators
generally enjoy social interaction and are not easily perturbed.
On recommendation of an eco-tourist; it is desirable to possess a level of
mechanical ingenuity. As in agriculture, machines are often employed and
will from time to time break down. It is important and beneficial to be able to
repair those on your own in the event that you are not able to hire a staff
mechanic. This is dependent upon the scope of the eco-tourism operation.
It is important to understand the scope of the operation before diving into it.
The operation must be feasible, as it is a business. Considerations must be
made in regard to the ability to hire and pay employees and staff.
Essentially, the business plan must be strong and realistic. Otherwise, the
proprietor runs the risk of be overwhelmed and burning out.
Employers in this field are generally privately owned and operated sole-
proprietorships. If you are interested in working for an organization as a
staff member the opportunities may be difficult to come by in the Midwest.
In areas such as Florida or California, where seasonality is not as much of
a difficulty and natural wonders such as the Everglades are present,
opportunities may be more abundant.
If you are interested in operating your own eco-tourism destination it is
necessary to have sufficient capital to purchase either land or equipment
which is necessary to operate. If you have the appropriate knowledge,
skills, passion and demand for your service where you plan to operate,
eco-tourism can be a viable endeavor.
Related Environmental Careers
Eco-tourism is related to careers in environmental education. In many
cases facilitators at eco-tourist destinations have responsibilities that
involve educating their guests in ecology and wild life. These
responsibilities are also similar to those of a camp counselor.
Wikipedia Ecotourism Description.
Authored and Researched by Adam LaRock